About Us

“Bridging Youth Policy, Practice, and Research”


Our vision is that all young people are able to meet their full potential in study, careers, and civic life as a result of our commitment and dedication to educate, inform, and engage policymakers in the development of effective and supportive youth policies.



AYPF’s mission is to broaden the awareness and understanding of policymakers and to strengthen the youth policymaking process by bridging policy, practice, and research. We do this by identifying the most pertinent high-quality information on youth issues available and providing a forum for prominent leaders in government, programming, and research, as well as the youth themselves, to share their viewpoints and expertise about the policies and practices that improve outcomes for all youth.

In Celebration of Samuel Halperin (1930-2014)

Sam for page
AYPF mourns the loss of Dr. Samuel Halperin, a committed advocate who tirelessly fought to improve the life quality of the most powerless and disadvantaged youth in America. Sam founded the American Youth Policy Forum in 1993, with a vision of helping national policymakers learn about effective programs and policies that lead to youth success. He was an insistent voice for focusing policies and resources on “the forgotten half” a phrased he coined that refers to the majority of America’s young people who do not complete high school or pursue career-related postsecondary education and who consequently face dim economic and social futures. He also believed that bringing together policymakers, practitioners, and researchers to learn about what works and experience effective programs through first-hand experiences would lead to enlightened policies for youth.

Sam had a long, illustrious, and fascinating career, serving as the Assistant Commissioner of Education for Legislation and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, and he was also one of the chief architects of the landmark Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

AYPF is deeply grateful to Sam for his enduring leadership, his steadfast vision to serve “the forgotten half,” his insist focus on “what works,” his genius in creating venues for policymakers, practitioners, and researchers to come together, and his generosity in mentoring and guiding generations of young people.

Additional information about Sam’s career and life is here:



AYPF brings forth issues of major concern and allows persons from various professions the opportunity to come together to hear and debate these issues.

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